Drawbot #2 — Post-Digital Drawing in Architecture & Art


Architecture, drawing, new media

Drawbot #2
Post-Digital Drawing in Architecture & Art

Past: February 8 → 24, 2018

In 2017-2018, AREA Institute presents in Art[n+1] Gallery a program that explores the nature of drawing in the post-digital era. A traditional architectural medium, drawing is being radically redefined by the computational turn, through the use of digital design, visualization and fabrication techniques. DRAWBOT presents projects by architects, artists and computation scientists through a series of 4 exhibitions, workshops and talks. It explores the mutations of contemporary drawing, produced or influenced by robotic technologies, artificial intelligence, simulation procedures and genetic algorithms, and its reconnection to abstraction, imagination and materiality.

Exhibited architects : Andrew Lucia; Young & Ayata Curators : Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou & Leslie Ware


At first glance, the artefacts assembled for the second edition of Drawbot can leave you to wonder.

From what appears to be mineral aggregates to alien flowers, and from 3D printed plaster prototypes to glossy photo-real renders, the traditional understanding of architectural drawing is certainly challenged. That is because, by focusing on the modalities of production of digital images, the exhibited projects by American architects Andrew Lucia and Young & Ayata reveal the mutations of the architectural representational paradigm and the redistribution of sensible information that comes as a corollary. Drawbot #2 opens to a materiality that challenges both the conventions and the forms of the architecture drawing and the traditional conceptualization of the relationship the drawing establishes with the real.

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Andrew Lucia, Surface Curvature Study 3D Print © Andrew Lucia

A technical, aesthetic and conceptual apparatus, the architecture drawing has historically been associated with a set of conventions that have regulated the manner in which reality is captured, perceived, rendered, and therefore, projected. A tool of regulated creativity, it has been — since the Renaissance — the medium by means of which constructive thought has been manifested in codified and quantified forms: sections, plans, elevations all attend the tridimensional world upon the drawing table, in order to master, transmit and reconstitute its complexity at different scales. Having become naturalized, these representational modes have articulated specific scopic regimes, articulating sensible apprehension, knowledge and conceptualization of the visible. Perspective, more than any other, has funded modern occidental architecture upon the presuppositions of Euclidian space and on a radiant, fixed model of perception.

Architects Andrew Lucia and Young & Ayata bring the potential of modeling software and algorithmic programming into play and, in doing so, reveal the spatial, aesthetic and epistemic conventions and preconceptions attached to traditional, as much as to digital, representation. Inducing a diffraction of our perception, their explorations into the mechanisms and limits of the digital tool open architecture to a certain of strangeness.

The project Debased Flower by Young & Ayata consists in a series of images of artificial ower species, pictured at different levels of zoom. The plausibility of this alien herbarium is funded upon the capacity of the digital to make apparent material characteristic emerge: each species possesses its own brightness, a smooth or rough surface, a specific pigmentation… all generated by the resolution of the model. By altering it, the architects produce a form of strange realism, revealing the illusion of the zoom by reversing its principle, and the fragmentary nature of the digital materiality.

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Young & Ayata, Debased Flowers, Viridi Pila, 2015 © Young & Ayata

Andrew Lucia develops “catalogs of differences”, that depict rates of change in ambient light or curvature in given environments. Exploring the capacity of the digital tools to describe objects through their local variations, he breaks with the fixed and centered apprehension of the world, and the general description of objects through their extrinsic qualities, imposed by perspective. In the form of images or 3D printed volumes, Lucia’s “catalogues” consists of spatialized data visualizations that capture the intrinsic capacities of energetic phenomena. Their familiarity with the mathematical objects photographed by Man Ray in 1936 open architecture to a close relationship between “surrationalism” (Gaston Bachelard) and surrealism.

“To me, abstract art is a fragment, like the magni cation of a detail of nature or of an art work” wrote Man Ray. It is the very possibility of abstraction that Drawbot #2 interrogates, its evocative power in a time when the encryption of reality by code allows capturing the world in a renewed manner. Today, data can rematerialize to meet all graphic and visual conventions; the discrete elements that are bits and pixels can equally coalesce in the continuity of the line or the glossiness of the photographic rendering. It may be in the light of these new aesthetic and conceptual regimes that architecture can redefine itself, and become projective again.

Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou
02 Paris 2 Zoom in 02 Paris 2 Zoom out

96, rue de Cléry

75002 Paris


Bonne Nouvelle
Strasbourg Saint-Denis

Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday, 1 PM – 6 PM
Other times by appointment Et sur rendez-vous

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The artists

  • Andrew Lucia
  • Young & Ayata